On the 26th of March 2019, I attended the Staffing Industry Analysts’ (SIA) new conference on ‘Collaboration in the Gig Economy’. The event focused on how talent engagement can be optimised, the opportunities presented by the gig economy, as well as sharing creative ideas for the changing world of work. The conference was a brilliant opportunity to hear from industry leaders on a diverse variety of topics surrounding the gig economy, as well as having the chance to network and share insights with staffing experts from across the world.
If you weren’t lucky enough to attend the conference, despair not! Here are three takeaways from the day that can help you optimise your talent with gig workers in this fast paced, changing world of work we find ourselves in.
Optimising talent engagement
The world of work is changing, and with it businesses are increasingly taking a holistic view of their talent engagement strategies. The focus is shifting from who the right candidates for the roles would be, to what the best way to get the job done and the skills needed to achieve this would be.
This view allows for the creation of more fluid and agile teams, as opposed to the rigid structures that were often in place previously, with the clear emphasis being on having the right skills for the business and not being confined to just their roles.
If your focus is on getting the right people with the right skills, this allows your business to create the right teams to be able to best deliver your objectives now and in the future.
Meaningful engagement for gig economy workers
With the increasing movement of candidates into flexible gig employment (the RSA estimates that there are over 1.1 million people working in Britain’s gig economy), employers need to be able to understand and successfully engage with these candidates and workers.
With high-volume recruitment, businesses are beginning to identify that a worker’s life-cycle can go beyond the term of that specific assignment. By approaching this as a hop-on hop-off cycle, employers can identify and implement talent pipelines of workers who have successfully worked at their business before and who could be engaged again for future assignments. This is particularly prevalent in industries where there is high-volume seasonal recruitment. This requires an effective tracking of workers and consistent engagement of these workers throughout their extended ‘life-cycle’.
Keeping workers genuinely engaged and passionate about working with you is a challenge most businesses struggle with, particularly in gig assignments.
This is not just about keeping in touch with workers, and regularly sending them emails, it comes down to the type of communication you’re having with them whilst they are in assignments too.
The bulk of communication with gig workers at the moment, who are currently on an assignment, is based on administration like chasing timesheets. Although this might not be classed as negative communication, it’s not exactly positive or engaging.
Keeping workers engaged is about taking the time to humanise your communication, moving away from administration to meaningful and positive conversations that allow your business to make a genuine connection with these workers.
Workers who have been genuinely engaged will jump at the opportunity to work for you again, contributing towards solving talent challenges in the future.
Where is talent engagement going in the future?There is often a divide between the available jobs in the market, and the knowledge of where candidates want to be, whether that is a specific company or a specific type of role.
Job matching is one area where talent engagement is likely to improve in the future, with the focus being on helping people to find the right opportunities for them. This means moving away from an emphasis on recruitment by numbers, and towards a process where recruiters can act as the facilitators for finding people their perfect job or matching them to their dream company.
As the talent supply has continued to contract in the UK, the market has become increasingly candidate-driven. With this likely to continue in the near future, technology providers will focus on viewing job searching increasingly from a candidate’s perspective and not an employers. With improvements in technology, and job matching, recruiters and candidates will be given the opportunity to spend more time with human transactions.
Finally, it takes approximately 39 days to get a job, and any given candidate has about a one in seven chance of getting that role.
Developments in the future are likely to allow for shorter processes for talent engagement, meaning that candidates can get a job more quickly. As technology progresses, it is likely to create the possibility for a better understanding of people and where they want to be, which will enable this reduction in length of processes.